Wealthy duchess gives fortune away to marry a Civil Servant
"Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria EugeniaFranciscaFitz-James Stuart y de Silva"(yes, that's one name) is one of the wealthiest women in all of Spain. She is worth somewhere between $850 million and $5 billion--but not for long.The Duchess of Alba, 85, is giving it all away so she can marry the man she loves.
Duchess of Alba, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart and Alfonso Diez attend ELLE Awards 25th Anniversary at the Matadero cultural center on June 30, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.
This sounds like a plot to the latestNicholas Sparksnovel, but we assure you, this is nonfiction to the core. So, why is she giving her vast fortune away? The duchess's six children were dubious about their mother's plans to marry Alfonso Diez, a civil servant who is 24 years younger.
(L-R) Cameron Diaz, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba and Tom Cruise attend 'Knight and Day' premiere at the Lope de Vega Theater in Seville, Spain.
To help assuage their fears that the love may not be genuine,the duchessis going to give her fortune to her children. According toan article from the BBC, the duchess's six children had been against the wedding. Earlier this year, the duchess remarked, "Alfonso doesn't want anything. All he wants is me."
(L to R) Spanish bullfigther Cayetano Rivera, model Eva Gonzalez, Duchess of Alba, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart and Alfonso Diez attend ELLE Awards 25th Anniversary at the Matadero cultural center on June 30, 2011 in Madrid.
Not surprisingly, news of the impending wedding sparked a flurry of web searches. Online lookups for "duchessmarries" and "spain duchess fortune" were both incredibly popular, as computer users have sought the scoop on the unlikely love story.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, President of The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts talks with The Duchess of Alba as Camilla.
The duchess's children were all from her first marriage to Pedro Luis Martinez de Irujo y Artazcoz, son of the Duke of Sotomayor. He died in 1972. The duchess remarried in 1978 to a onetime Jesuit priest named Jesus Aguirre y Ortiz de Zarate. He passed away in 2001. The duchess has been friends with Diez for several years. In fact, there were rumors of a wedding in 2008, but nothing occurred afterthe children "vetoed" the idea of marriage.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, President of The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts pose with the Duchess Of Alba and her son and daughter at a charity gala dinner and theatrical performance for supporters of the The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts at Buckingham Palace on February 1, 2011 in London.
Princess Letizia of Spain, Duchess of Alba Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart and Cayetano Martinez de Irujo attend the traditional 'Garbanzo de Plata' at the Torres Bermejas restaurant in Madrid, Spain
No word on whether the duchess's children and grandchildren intend to be on hand for the ceremony. She likes to point out that each of her kids is divorced, even though she has never split up with any of her husbands. According to theUK Guardian, the duchess has given her children and eight grandchildren "a palace each." That ought to keep them quiet.